pump suggestions

settianoMarch 18, 2013

my name is Karen and it has been about 8 years since I posted here when I lived in Washington State.
I need assistance in selecting a new pump and would appreciate any advisement you may have.

My pond was built for me by a service I would prefer not to use again because my requests and suggestions were not listened to. This service basically built the pond while I was at work and I now find that there are a few issues I am not understanding. My history was in bog filtered ponds with pumps installed via bottom drains on the floor of the pond. I know that now that it is built, I must accommodate myself to the different design and am learning that while it is different, it is known in these parts, to be effective.

The pond is 24' long by 43' wide and it is 4' deep. It is filtered by a waterfall bio filter which has a filtration box standing about 4' long and is 3' wide and 3' deep. Upon opening it found that it is loaded with large rocks and large lava rock, not the filtration material I had requested.
The pump is set into the skimmer box (about the same size as the filter box) and is HUGE. It is also very heavy. I have no idea of what it's make is except that it is shaped like a fire hydrant. It died a month or so after it's warantee expired. It sucked electricity beyond anything I have experienced and I am not willing to pay those prices again. In Washington I had two mag drive pumps on a similar sized pond and my electric bill was much more tolerable.

In consulting our local pond store, I was told that it is okay to put the pump in the skimmer box because fish poop floats to the surface. The gentleman stated that pumps will wear out much quicker when put into the bottom of the pond).

I do not have the funds to re do this pond so I am going to make necessary changes such as improving the filter material and possibly adding another filter.

What I need to know is what kind of pump would you suggest that I can put back into the skimmer box which will not kill my electric bill. I was thinking on putting two mag drives but am told that mag drives are now kind of obsolete and putting two pumps into the box with a Y connection will cause the pumps to wear out quickly (I have no clue why but I think the guy had a good albeit complex scientific explanation).

My water parameters are just fine. I started with 35 small koi and then added two really humongous ones who appear to have been a mated pair all along so my 35 number may be higher. I am happy with giving the progeny away as soon as the weather allows me to see my school.

Any ideas about a good energy efficient pump would be greatly appreciated.

Please go easy on me, I know this pond is not exactly done right.
Thanks in advance!!

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Karen, sounds like they really did a number on you. I'm no expert but it sounds like you need a pump (or pumps) that will move about 15000 gals an hour. That would turn your pond water over once every 1/2 hour. I use two Tsurumi 50PN2.75S on my pond but but it's only 8500 gals. I don't think it makes any difference if the pump is in the bottom of the pond or in the skimmer box. I use both. The thing that will make them wear out faster is getting junk and sludge in them, which will happen in both locations if the bottom is not managed. I think I'd find a new pond store to deal with as the guy who told you that fish poop floats to the top is not very well informed. Fish poop sinks, except in rare cases., usually when an air bubble get trapped in or around the poop.

Replacing the large rock and big chunks of lava rock with smaller lava rock would work well. I use the lava rock for grills that you can get at home depot or lowe's.

Are you in KY? I Live is eastern KY (east of Morehead) or about an hour east of Lexington. If you live close enough I would love to meet up, share ideas, and take a look at your setup.

Sorry if I didn't give you a very good answer on the pump. Maybe some other members who have larger ponds may have a better idea.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:02PM
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joe_09(z7 ny)

karen you have a 30,000 gal pond,and mag drives are not going to have enough water flow to filter your pond.i would go with an external pump.the best way would be to put a settling chamber and a prefilter before the pump.if not the pump acts like blender and mashes up the fish poop before the filter.a real good pump is the performance pro artesian.i would get the 1/2 hp it pumps 7860 gal per hr at 7 ft. burns 630 watts.the 1 hp pumps 10560 gal/hr.you need a large pump for that pond.i have the 1/4 hp for my 7000 gal pond,my water is gin clear.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:32AM
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joe_09(z7 ny)

karen, a smaller pond should be turned over 1x /hr.your pond is too big to turn over at that rate.so you could go with the 1/2 or 1 hp as i stated above.hope this helps.good luck

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:58AM
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Here is where I am at so far...
A dealer recommended a Sequence 8200SEQ22. Specs =
1/8 HP Sequence 4000 Series Pump - 8200 GPH
It burns 450 Watts per hour. The dealer says this can possibly be diverted into two filters but is not totally sure. It isnt cheap but the man listened to me and understands all of the parts necessary to adapt it to my system. I like it that I will not have to run to the hardware store to explain something that I barely understand myself. Sometimes it is worth it to pay more for quality service.

The other thing I am leaning strongly towards is using a veggie filtration system using hyacinths. I am going to load the waterfall box with both media and lots of hyacinths. Then I am going to create 36" floating containment islands all along the inside edge for an internal filtration system as well. Finally I may add another waterfall box with a smaller pump to do the job well. I am also thinking of adding a ton more waterlilies but to be honest, what I read, they don't filter as well as other plants. The entire edge of my pond is rock and water loving plants including daylilies, cardinal flower, iris, etc. (this was my idea and didnt please the service at all).
Here is a link I love on this:
Finally I think I need a largish catfish. I prefer an albino one but cant seem to find one out here. I think I can buy one off of a fisherman from a paylake. That will take care of future progeny of the koi and keep my stocking level decent.

Cherokee Joe, I live in Berea...not that far from you at all. It would be a delight to meet up with you. I think you will find that my pond will not be as attractive as yours and to be honest, it will be turned over only once ever 2.5 hours but I think that with massive filtration and keeping my fish stock really low, that will be ok. Its funny, all of that weird blue dye the guy put in the water has not curbed the hair algae like he said it would but it did give the shade needed to give my kohaku gorgeous color! I can be proud of that crimson.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 3:52PM
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So glad to see your response. I was delighted to see your comment about the catfish. I have 3 large albino channel cats, 2 of which I want to get rid of. I would be glad to give one of them to you if you want. I bought them when they were about 5 inches long and can't believe how big they have gotten.

A word about my setup. I have just moved from Texas to KY. I have a 12x16x3' pond at an old residence (ex-wife) near Columbus, OH. Lots of fish and plants there that I have to move. I also have a 14x20x4' pond at my old residence in TX where I lived for 5 years after my divorce. It has my best Koi and also my best lilies and lotus. I will be moving all that stuff here soon as well. My setup here is under construction and will be the conversion of a 20x40x5' swimming pool. SO this being said I'm sure your setup is much nicer than mine at this time.

I think your plan for a pump and water treatment is viable but not sure it will be enough for your setup. Although floating plants provide some filtration I'm not sure it will be enough to keep your pond clean and clear. I think a bog filter would work well for you if you have the space and means to install one. Lots of your plants will grow well in a bog environment and will provide good filtration in addition to their landscape value.

You can send me an email at c.j.shoeboots@hotmail.com if you would like to discuss getting together and discussing transfer of a catfish from my pond to yours.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 7:33PM
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I can do a bog! I did bogs in Washington. I have the boxes for them and just need a liner.
I cannot believe you have a catfish! I am sooo happy!
I will find a way to reimburse you!
I will email you right away

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 11:11AM
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I feel for you about your pond and pump issue. I live in NW IN and run my pumps year round. My pond holds appox. 19,000 gallons. I am pumping 17,000 gal/hr to maintain 3 waterfalls and a 16 ft.mountain stream. I had to give up on submergible pumps 3 yrs. ago, because, I could not get any life out of them. Now I am using 3 out of the water pumps 1hp 5760 GPH, 2 of these pump have been running 3 yrs. non stop. I bought these pumps from Foster and Smith at a price of $289.99 Ea. This is a very good price, but they are NOT as cheap to operate as a Mag drive. As you can see they will outlast a submergible. In 6yrs I have never put a drop of dye or any chemicals in my pond and it stays crystal clear. I have about 60 Koi and gold fish. I will be adding 24 KOI this spring. It was interesting when you mentioned Catfish I was thinking about adding 2 Albino catfish this year now I know I will.,

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:28PM
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Missymutt, I loved my catfish in Washington! he was beautiful and swam like a ballet dancer! I have been gone for 7 years and the new owners have been allowing a neighbor to care for the pond since they are only there seasonally. The neighbor contacted my pond shop and wanted to know what that big white fish was that followed them all around the edge of the pond. That was Bruce! I am so happy he is still alive and making sure that the goldfish and koi are not overstocking the pond. I look forward to having a catfish again.
I take a chance and turn my pumps off for the winter. I did it in Washington and I do it here. Probably the reason I am safe is because I have such a large pond and the surface area is sufficient for the pond to oxygenate itself.
I am happy with my new pump selection. Its only 1/8 horsepower and yet will do everything I want it to. My feeling is that if I am willing to curb my fish stock, I am safe with my system as it is.
thanks for the information, sharing, and encouragement!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 3:50PM
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I built a large Pond(not nearly as big as yours) maybe 1700 gal. & yes, I used a outside the pond, Sequence pump, in a box just AFTER the the skimmer box. The 1/8 HP Sequence 4000 Series Pump, might do it, you can find even Bigger, on mail order Koi sites. Luckily the bigger the pond, the more it maintains itself. If you can, I'd put a settling chamber in the line somewhere too. But you should get the biggest widest skimmer box as you can(or more than one, "Y" ed). As you don't want that to get blocked up & have the pump run dry & kill it. That you have to stay on top of, fallen leaves, etc.. I had a smaller bio pond with water hyacinths too. The sequence pumps do better at having to chew up things in the water. I hate to say it, but at that size pond, I'd always have a back up pump on hand.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:55AM
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Shalom, pump flow rates are measured at the discharge, and loose flow via the piping quickly so you might well
want at least doubling the flow rate you want - not sure that even doubling may be enough depending on how much pipe is involved. - IMO you never have too much flow or too much filtration. If you use floating islands you can use lots of land plants which are less expensive, just keep the crowns above the water - hosta, impatiens, marigolds, red lace, coleus several ground covers just to name a few.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:17PM
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